It’s the number 1 thing our clients want us to do for them. Most feel like negotiation is confrontation and most folks dislike or even hate doing it. Maybe that’s why some of us think we can do it by a text message.
I read a Facebook rant about multiple offers on a listing and the agent tried to reach the buyers agents by phone. He wanted to talk to them but they would not answer. They’d text him but not talk to him. The result was an offer that was accepted by the seller that was ultimately lower than one presented by text and email only. “Highest and Best” does not always mean the most money. It means the one most likely to close and achieve the sellers goals.
Texting and email is convenient but I believe only 7% of what we communicate is carried by the words we use. Texting and email uses only words and then we are left to assign emotions ourselves to what we read and that can be a disaster.
You don’t believe me?
From Wikipedia it says “Albert Mehrabian (born 1939 to an Armenian family in Iran), currently Professor Emeritus of Psychology, UCLA, has become known best by his publications on the relative importance of verbal and nonverbal messages. That has become known as the “7%-38%-55% Rule”, for the relative impact of words, tone of voice, and body language when speaking.
The “7%-38%-55%” rule is based on two studies reported in the 1967 papers “Decoding of Inconsistent Communications” and “Inference of Attitudes from Nonverbal Communication in Two Channels”. Both dealt with the communication of positive or negative emotions via single spoken words, like “dear” or “terrible”.
It just says 7% words, 38% tone and 55% body language is how we gather information from others and they need to be congruent to be effective. If they don’t match up we tend to dig deeper into the sources and try to resolve them as we process information.
If most of what we learn comes from tone of voice and non-verbal body language then negotiating by text is woefully inadequate to represent our clients. We can do better.
And it’s not just in negotiating we need to be face to face. Anytime we are delivering difficult news it can be a game changer.
I had a deal fall apart after about 2 months of delays and finally a failure on the part of a lender that was supposed to fund a buyer’s loan on one of my listings. That’s a long story I can tell another time but to the point of this post, I got the news the loan would not be funded and the buyer was unwilling to continue with one of my lenders so I had to deliver the bad news.
I decided to do it face to face. I called him and set an appointment.
During our conversation I relayed the news and how I was proposing to fix it. At the end of my presented solution the seller smiled. An authentic smile and I knew at that point I should shut up and let him respond. Without that nonverbal cue I might have kept talking and could have derailed my own solution.
Seeing that smile made my day.
It’s important to listen and observe when negotiating and you can’t do that via texting. If you find it uncomfortable to do this part of our job then I’d suggest you get better at it. The need won’t go away and you’ll be the hero in the deal even if it doesn’t go your way.
You will have done your job and grown in the process. That’s a hero in my book.
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Thanks for listening,
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